2024 MGS Tour to Montreuil


Micky Mann wins the MGS tour which saw great weather, great courses, great food (and drink) and great comradery.

Day one – Hardelot Pines

A bright and early start on Tuesday morning started well with James remembering his passport unlike in the previous year when a swift about turn to home was required.  That said Tom forgot to wear his golf shoes the first day with his Sketchers filling with a little sand as he played!!

The customary bacon rolls and coffee just before the tunnel was not the best with Mr Buck wishing he had his usual Shreddies for breakfast before leaving instead – he has not gone without his Shreddies for 52 years!

Once through the tunnel and into France we made our way to what is described as one of Europe’s leading golf courses with a delightful layout through a superb forest. The 18-hole golf course Hardelot Pines is a stunning masterpiece designed by Tom Simpson. We played on pine tree-lined fairways that weave their way through sand dunes and the Hardelot national forest. Its original 1934 layout has been meticulously restored to enhance its simple, subtle British style with its sophisticated green contours and notoriously tricky bunkers.

The winners on the first day were: –

1stMicky Mann39
2ndPhil Taylor35
3rdTony Willmott33 (B9CB 18)
4thAlan Bigley33 (B9CB 17)

We then transferred to the Best Western Hotel which is located in the medieval town of Montreuil-sur-Mer. Although totally irrelevant to our group it offers a fitness and wellness centre with a spa and massage treatments.  Kelvin preferred to get his massage from James who had kindly got back to their room early and run Kelvin a warm bath!! 

That evening we had a nice Italian meal which snookered our Captain Mr Buck who doesn’t eat much “foreign”muck food and who was after a steak (but not available on this menu).  However, he did find the Italian white wine to his liking though!!

A few of the society went for a post meal final drink or five at a local bar to finish off the evening (including a bottle of wine which Jerry did not at any point regret or mention the cost of on the subsequent days!!) As a consequence of the extra alcohol intake, it did not go unnoticed that three members in particular were bouncing off the walls of the houses on the way back to the hotel giggling like schoolgirls!!

When in France – go for an Italian!

Day two – Le Belles Dunes

We all enjoyed a good buffet breakfast with what looked like a murder scene being tidied quietly in the background of one member’s bedroom.  The police were not called but that unnamed member (rhymes with duck) was potentially concussed and ordering pain killers on toast for breakfast.  The soft-boiled egg maker was again a point of distraction with nobody on the first day getting the perfect egg into which they could dunk their nicely cut toasted soldiers.

After breakfast we drove to Belle Dune Golf Club which is set on the Channel Coast in an area known as Côte d’Opale close to Baie d’Autie in the Somme area. It’s a young course that opened for play in 1992 and Jean-Manuel Rossi designed it. Belle Dune nestles perfectly within some of the finest dune land in Europe, a stone’s throw away from the sea. It is a fair and accessible course !!!!!, which measures 5,883 metres from the back tees. The first few holes wind through green maritime pine trees and tend to give confidence to the players. The next series of holes wander through poplars and silver birch bent by the breeze where a sideways glance reveals hedgerows of buckthorn, sparkling with orange berries. At the turn the vista changes to immense golden sand dunes covered with marram grasses.

The Marquenterre reserve, in which the course lies, is not only botanic paradise, it’s also home to the diverse wildlife of migrating birds, ducks, pheasants and rabbits. Belle Dune is not overly long for the handicap player, but it nonetheless tested every aspect of our game. You might notice below that one unnamed member plays better when possibly concussed than they do normally!

The winners on the second day were: –

1stAlan Bigley35
2ndChris Buck32
3rdMicky Mann30 (B9CB 15)
4thPhil Taylor30 (B9CB 14)

A refreshing pint followed before returning to the hotel. 

That evening, and it must be said, that the pre-booked restaurant (French) and the Italian restaurant the night before were excellent choices well chosen by Mr Bigley our organiser extraordinaire. 14 excellent steaks and one salmon dish were the mains which were fabulous and good value.  A few glasses of good wine were drank served by the first-class staff who did very well to put up with 15 slightly tipsy blokes (with some better behaved than others – again no names are mentioned!!).

A visit to a French restaurant

The final day at Le Touquet

Breaking news at breakfast was that Mr Mark Hughes had sussed the soft-boiled egg maker with 2.5 turns of the timer giving the perfect egg (not a minute more or less I should add). 

So, after checking out of the hotel we set off for the final course La Forêt at Le Touquet which opened for play in 1904.  Fair to say this was a gentler course in terms of difficulty and wear and tear on the legs walking wise on what were now a set of tired and sleep deprived golfers. La Forêt is set beautifully among pine trees which provides a calm and peaceful environment for all golfers whatever their handicap. 

The winners on the third day were: –

1stAndrew Jenner36
2ndMark Hughes 35
3rdTony Willmott34 (B9CB 19)
4thPeter Cudmore34 (B9CB 14)


Following the final days play we congregate outside the club house for a pint and for the MGS Captain to run through the winners of the day and the overall final results.   The overall final positions were very close with Biggers losing a ball on the 17th that we didn’t think was lost making all the difference allowing Micky Mann to limp over the finish line to victory despite a Bigley birdie on the last. The Overall results are shown below: –

1stMicky Mann100
2ndAlan Bigley99
= 3rdPhil Taylor93
=3rdMark Hughes93
5thTony Willmott91
6th  Richard Hannam88
7thAndrew Jenner86
8thRob Weaver85
9thChris Buck83
10thJerry Watkiss82
11thDavid Howroyd72
12thPeter Cudmore71
=13thKelvin Paterson65
=13thTom Bennett65
15thJames Gallifant64*

*Retired injured after 8 holes on day 2 but recovered for the final round.

Well done to Micky Mann for his first tour victory having been on most MGS tours for the last 10 years and failing dismally!! Consistency being key across the three days plus he looked after the handicap adjustments with a very careful eye! A big thank you goes to Alan Bigley (and others) for organising the whole shooting match and the drivers for getting us to and from France safely. Also, our appreciation must go to James for taking charge of the dinner and alcohol costs and making it easy for everyone to put into the pot what they owed. 

All have now arrived home safe and sound and are looking forward to the next monthly event at the Nevill on the 14th  June.

A very good and successful trip.


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